The Eyes


“Blind as a Bat”, while not meant to be, is actually a compliment! Most bats can see very well, and better than humans in low light conditions.

Microchiroptera however, use vision as a secondary source of information, after echolocation, unlike Megachiroptera. Most Microchiroptera have small, often hidden eyes, and only members of the family Phyllostomidae have large eyes.

The eyes of Megachiroptera however are quite large, and colour vision is known only in this suborder of bats. Since bats are nocturnal or crepscular, it is reasonable to say that their eyes are specialized for low light conditions. Examination supports this statement, as the retinae consist almost entirely of rod cells. Megachiroptera also have specialized visual pathways from the retina to the midbrain, which are also found in primates.

While some bats may only be capable of pattern discrimination, it is true that there is
NO SUCH THING AS A BLIND BAT!



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